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Posts tagged ‘Health’

So much for the promiscuity shot

Remember how wingnuts and conservatives objected to the HPV vaccine because they thought it might cause promiscuity? Well, a new study (hat tip: Feministing) shows that this is not the case:

Since public health officials began recommending in 2006 that young women be routinely vaccinated against HPV, many parents have hesitated over fears that doing so might give their children license to have sex. But research published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics may help ease those fears.

Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, the researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated.

This was obvious from the start. But I know that anti–choicers won’t stop their freaking out and sexophobia.

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Pro-lifers aren’t

I first saw this video from the Guttmacher Institute at ThinkProgress. It shows how each year, around 47,000 women die from unsafe abortions.

Transcript here.

If all those anti–choicers truly cared about reducing the abortion rate and saving lives, they’d be pushing birth control endlessly. But since they don’t, it’s obvious that the abortion debate isn’t really about abortion. Rather, it’s about controlling women and punishing them for having sex.

Dangerous denials

I recently read the following in The Guardian:

Schoolgirls are being denied a potentially life-saving cervical cancer jab at their schools on religious grounds.

Some schools in England have opted out of the HPV vaccination programme because their pupils follow strict Christian principles and do not have sex outside marriage. The jab guards against two strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus – 16 and 18 – which cause 70% of cases of cervical cancer. It is offered routinely to girls aged 12 to 13.

[…]

The reasons schools gave for not giving the jab included “not in keeping with the school ethos”, “pupils follow strict Christian principles, marry within their own community and do not practise sex outside marriage” and “the school does not want parents/students to feel pressured by peers or the school setting”.

[…]

Every year, 1,000 women in the UK die from cervical cancer.

The fact that girls are being denied this vaccine is important, as it hinders the ability to generate “herd immunity” using the vaccine, something it has recently been shown to do (cite, cite).

These actions are of course par for the course for religious conservatives. Whenever some medical advance has arisen to make women’s lives easier, some religious dipshit has been there opposing it, abusing, hurting, or otherwise oppressing women. In the US, the same objections— by preventing a common STD, HPV vaccine was creating “a licence to engage in premarital sex” (cite)— were raised. Those people are the successors to the people who objected to using antibiotics to treat other STD’s, to anesthetic in parturition, and that Plan B would lead to “sex–based cults” (cite). Since almost the beginning of history and probably before, religious conservatives have been seeking to control women’s sexuality.

Maybe these people truly believe that these girls will never be raped and will never have premarital sex. If that is the case then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell them because they are hopelessly naive. Or maybe they really want some sort of metaphorical stick to wave over people’s heads because they see it as more important that people not engage in premarital sex than in not getting cancer. If that is the case then Dan Savage seems more and more correct.

Spouse of the random stuff

In no particular order:

  • Melissa on how the experience of Canadian versus American prenatal care helped change her views on universal health care.
  • No surprise here. Some religious groups are attacking Melinda Gates’ campaign to raise awareness of contraception in the developing world. They call it a “blatant attack on morality.” As opposed to, you know, something really immoral, like oppressing women by denying birth control to them.
  • A Guttmacher Institute report indicates that this year will likely have as many new restrictions on abortion as the previous year, and possibly more (via). However, there is also good news; for example, fewer states are attempting to cut funding for family planning services.
  • Four ways the internet could go down.
  • The American (heteronormative patriarchial) Family Association has announced a boycott of Google due to the latter’s LGBT rights campaign, Legalize Love (via). It will “test the meat of our convictions.” Then they’d better have really tough convictions, as they’re running out of companies that aren’t anti–LGBT.
  • Canada has a new non–profit organization and advocacy group, Bad Science Watch, that will promote evidence–based policies and provide information to protect consumers from junk science (via). Let’s hope they’re successful.
  • (Added in an update) What government does for you.

Spanking causes mental illness in kids

A new study suggests that substance abuse and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders are more common in children who were physically punished (without meeting the legal definition of child abuse).

From the abstract:

Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders.

Jeannieology of a not–Poe

I’ve seen any number of ridiculous objections to the birth control mandate in the US, but this one has got to be one of the loopiest. I found it at Sadly No!, and I swear that it is not a Poe. It’s by someone named Jeannie DeAngelis, and is titled “Is Obama purposely altering America’s religious complexion?”. Considering that Ms. DeAngelis’ writing has also been found at websites like The American Stinker pretty much sums up all you need to know about her. And since I haven’t done a fisking in so long, DeAngelis’ screed provides the perfect target.

Just like a benevolent government that has worked hard to help provide naïve young girls with parent-free abortions,[…]

All women and girls have reproductive rights. Parents don’t own their kids, and they shouldn’t suffer because they happened to be born to fetus fetishist parents. Abortion (and contraception, although DeAngelis didn’t mention it in this context) are legal.

[I]t stands to reason that ‘patriarchal’ Christianity would be next in line to be undermined.[…]

If patriarchal religion is being undermined I’m all for it.

When it comes to challenging authority, the President seems to be particularly obsessed with using birth control and abortion as a weapon.

“Birth control and abortion as a weapon?” You have until the count of ten before I pump your guts full of pills!;)

[…]Barry seems excessively concerned about ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, credo or upbringing, can obtain free condoms, morning-after pills, sterilization, and abortion-on-demand.

Actually, economic and other barriers ensure that most women don’t have abortion or contraception on demand. Additionally, the Hyde Amendment and other laws ensure that federal tax dollars and none of your money™ are not being used to fund (most) abortions (cite).

The only religious group Obama respects and is careful not offend, whether religiously or parentally, is Muslims.

Bush emphasized on a number of occasions that he was fighting Islamic terrorists and extremists and not the vast majority of Muslims who are neither.

The Muslim faith has drawn a line in the sand and the President, who feels very comfortable defying every other authority from the Vatican to the parents of 14-year-old girls[…]

The Pope runs his own country. And again, children shouldn’t suffer because they had the misfortune to be born to parents who abuse them by denying them legal health care.

[A]cquiesces, without question, to the tenets of the Koran.

This conspiracy theory that Obama is a secret Muslim has been debunked a million times.

Barack Obama knows full well that “Muslims believe that health insurance is ‘haraam,’ or forbidden, because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling.” Thus, without question the Obama administration has decided that, unlike other faiths, “This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in [Obamacare].” Obama respects the Muslim stance on gambling, and presto! Muslims are exempt from health insurance, and more specifically the birth control, sterilization, and abortion mandates that accompany it.

Actually, as Snopes and FactCheck make clear, while some Muslim groups object to life insurance, most Muslims have no problem with health insurance or other insurance required by law. Considering that no Muslim groups objects to Social Security, which Christian groups granted exemptions under the appropriate laws do, it is unlikely that any Muslim would be granted an exemption. As Snopes puts it, “[N]o Muslim group has ever qualified for an exemption under the guidelines which define which religious groups would be exempt from the health care law.”

And furthermore, there is no abortion mandate.

DeAngelis then goes on to quote some Catholic dogma about human reproduction and sexuality. The appropriate response to this is, of course, to point out that if one is concerned about abortions (like DeAngelis herself mentioned as recently as last month) and wants to reduce the number of abortions, improved access to contraception is the number one way to do it. That, along with better sex education, is how places like the Czech Republic (cite), Georgia (cite), and elsewhere (cite) have reduced their abortion rates.

Barack Obama, who’s obsessed with everyone else’s sex life[…]

“[O]bsessed with everyone else’s sex life?” I thought this article was written by Jeannie DeAngelis, and not Yagotta B. Kidding.

The question arises as to why a President so focused on controlling so many Americans’ reproductive habits and overriding religion[…]

98% of sexually active Catholic women use contraception. A Majority of Catholics support no–cost contraception (cite). The only religion being overridden is that of the professional virgins almost no one listens to anyway. In addition, as David Frum (a Republican) pointed out, those who oppose the birth control mandate on the grounds of “freedom of religion” are incoherent, much less the fact that several states have required churches to follow similar rules several years already.

[…]Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Barack Obama have joined forces, blocked the exits, and are distributing free condoms at the contraceptive circus.

Contraceptive circus? Really?

Meanwhile, Islam is exempt.

See just above. DeAngelis mentioned this in the part of the paragraph that I skipped over. She sure does know how to rant, doesn’t she?

The President is urging and actively assisting in lowering birth rates in a Christian community whose tenets reject contraception and abortion and stands by while, according to Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life population projections, “Globally, the Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades.”[…]

Ooooh, alert alert, it’s the scary foreign people! That aside, if you read such demographic reports, you’ll find out that the fertility rate in the Muslim world is plummetting. The reason for the continued increase is, of course, population momentum: When you have a large cohort of people of prime reproductive age, the population will almost certainly go up even with a low birth rate.

DeAngelis continues ranting the same stuff for her last paragraph, reiterating her previous wingnut word salad about Muslim exemptions and pretty much nothing that hasn’t been debunked above.

Update: This post used to have a picture, but I removed it on the grounds that it added no value to this post.

If you can’t beat the shit out of your own child who can you beat the shit out of?

CBC reports on a new study to be published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that physical punishment of children (such as spanking) has severe negative health consequences, and that the exemption in the Criminal Code that allows it should be repealed. The issue of spanking was covered by the Supreme Court in 2004, which allowed the exemption to stand.

Children who have experienced physical punishment tend to be more aggressive toward parents, siblings, peers and, later, spouses, and are more likely to develop antisocial behaviour, said Joan Durrant, of the department of family social sciences at the University of Manitoba and Ron Ensom of Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

Physical punishment is also associated with a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and use of drugs and alcohol.

[…]

They noted that when parents in more than 500 families were trained to reduce their use of physical punishment, the difficult behaviours in the children also declined.

[….]

Although working to outlaw spanking is the correct move, one shouldn’t focus so much on corporal punishment that one neglects to target other forms of child abuse. There are destructive things that parents can do to their kids that don’t involve any hitting. For example, Clarissa has mentioned force–feeding. Another example is arbitrarily denying healthcare.

The title of this post is taken from a comment by Jake Squid at an old Pandagon thread.

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